Ms. CRANKY'S HAT, well, one of them

Ms. CRANKY'S HAT, well, one of them

Monday, May 18, 2015


All her life Ms. Cranky remembers older women calling her ‘hon’ and ‘dear’ and ‘sweetie,’ most especially waitresses named Lil or Gert.  Cranky didn’t mind it, it was a nice part of life and she didn’t think much about it.  Until lately --- when Ms. Cranky became one of ‘those people.’

There was no warning nor preparation and no one told her to do it.  There was no instruction booklet or ceremony gently moving her into the world of the Lil’s and Gert’s of Cranky’s yesteryear.

But, slowly, Ms. Cranky began noticing those old familiar words creeping into her very own language, usually on goodbyes.  “Bye, sweetie; okay hon, see you real soon…”

Did Ms. Cranky get older?  --- Yes, of course, Ms. Cranky got older, and, seemingly, very quickly.  But, did Ms. Cranky suddenly become a waitress in a highway diner with homemade coleslaw and heavy off-white coffee mugs?  No she didn’t. 

It took a while for Cranky to process this information and to even realize she was doing it.  She’d hang up the phone and go, ‘Hmmm,’ did I just call my niece-in-law ‘sweetie’?  Was that actually me saying ‘goodbye honey’ to my mentee?   It was not thought out in the least but it was definitely happening. 

Now, over a bit of time, Ms. Cranky doesn’t mind the change; she even thinks it’s sort of sweet (not ‘sweetie’).  One day she simply realized her new speech had become a pattern, an ‘okay’ pattern that came with the passage of time --- maybe like lower-heeled softer shoes or needing eyeglasses or trying to decide to color your hair or not?

Ms. Cranky wonders your thoughts on this matter and also wonders if it happens in all cultures and what the names would be in Italy or Croatia or China?  And, Ms. Cranky celebrates all the women who came before her and their most welcome terms of endearment.  A term of endearment is always enjoyed.

See ya’ ‘round ‘dearies’!!!
April 2015

a few photos from our winter --- long, tiring, slippery but, at times, utterly beautiful, this night even my neighbors were hanging out their doors admiring and admitting its beauty.

the geraniums are outside now but in winter, they are in cranky's bathroom getting the southern light they so love. the skirts were in an exhibit in a building cranky works in, there were several colors of skirts hanging in the winter garden of the world financial center, moving some; in time the art installation was to be put to music, the different-colored skirts probably swirling about which cranky would have enjoyed seeing but never caught that act.

thanks for looking, Ms. C.

POLLY WANTS A CRACKER, MS. CRANKY WANTS A CRACKER, BUT JUST A CRACKER. (And, please hold the seven-thousand varieties)

Ms. Cranky wonders if it’s too much to ask to just buy a box of crackers anymore, regular old crackers, crisp and chewy.  Cranky doesn’t want to dampen anyone’s spirits or, worse, dampen a cracker and make it soggy (yikes!) but these exotic cracker tastes --- hello!!!  Are we that truly bored?
Does Cranky really need a jalapeno-banana-with a hint of lime cracker (made up name)???  Or, sesame, flaxseed, limburger cheese crackers???
Can’t Cranky just get an old really crisp crunchy cracker of yore?   Okay, maybe the black pepper ones, okay maybe those but please not tootie fruity.  And, boy does Ms. Cranky love her horseradish but she loves it in a proper tall slim glass horseradish jar in her refrigerator, not in a cracker --- oh, all-right, maybe horseradish. Cranky’ll concede to that.

Cranky wonders when all this ‘enhancing’ will stop and at what point will the desire to gussie up a perfectly-okay product cease?  Dill and sea salt, not bad, fire roasted tomato, tomato and basil, rosemary, okay but Cranky does not need all this confusion.  

Cranky is confused enough by daily life and dodging people walking into her with their appliances.  Why a cracker too? isn’t there enough to juggle?  How much can the brain handle?  And, why are people acting so nuts???  Probably because they can’t find a good old plain cracker anymore, not to mention the exorbitant cost of a box.  Hello, millionaires club! 

And, in the meantime, can we find out what’s in the ingredients of all these exotic tastes???  Can we examine the labels?  Ms. Cranky does not believe that variety of this nature comes without a problem.  Perhaps if God had wanted ratcheted-up crackers, he or she would not have started us out with a plain old wonderful wafer.

Ms. Cranky would, as always, love to hear your thoughts on any of this.  Maybe she’s just being ‘too cranky’ here, she admits that.  Or, maybe, other people feel the same way.  She’d love to hear. 

And, remember, never eat, plain or enhanced, crackers in bed.  That is a given, if not much else is.

April 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

RIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS --- a bit behind but the spirit is still there

Ms. Cranky was honored one night to be on a subway platform at Bay Parkway waiting for the “F” train, with views so spectacular of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines that she went to the end of the platform in the very dark.  She was the only one there waiting and Ms. Cranky is scared of, like, just about everything.

The new World Trade Center which Cranky usually loves to hate, was spectacular, shining, shining and the old Empire State as always lit up and, then, building after building on each side of the river was bright and right below where she stood, were the memorials rising up to the sky of one of the most beautiful cemeteries Cranky has ever seen, a very old Jewish cemetery.   Oh, and did Cranky forget to tell you of the small slit of a moon just sitting up there in the very cold?--- Cranky finds skies so spectacular in the coldest weather though her knees climbing those old old subway steps weren’t doing as well as the night sky.

Then, a few days later Cranky went into Manhattan on a brief outing, conveniently forgetting how intense the ‘Christmas crowds’ would be even after Christmas.  She had a few errands to do, and, then, hoped to grab a decent cheap lunch and walk through Bryant Park.

It was really hard getting through the crowds, very claustrophobic but all could be handled and went all-right till Cranky couldn’t find the reasonably priced Irish bar where she’d had a great sandwich once and, since Cranky does not eat breakfast, she was getting weaker and weaker and wandering up and down side streets searching and searching --- ‘it’s gotta be the next block, etc.’ getting, more and more, err, ‘cranky’ so she, finally, dove into a dark diner (unusual in itself, she should have ‘realized’) and quickly ordered a turkey burger, the cheapest thing on the menu. 

That’s when she was pushed by the waitress to order ‘deluxe’ which she didn’t want. And, in time, Cranky would find out that if you didn’t pay extra for deluxe, at least in this joint, you weren’t even allowed a pickle on your plate! 

The waitress had her so upset pushing for ‘deluxe’ --- “You won’t get lettuce and tomato and fries” she kept repeating and Ms. Cranky would more-or-less-patiently reply that she didn’t want ‘deluxe,’ this went on and on and, then, the barren turkey burger with not a teeny thimble of over wrought slaw nor a pickle, arrived, and, for some reason had a second roll on the plate, which Ms. C. found strange but was too hungry to ask about it and started to eat.  Anyway, she couldn’t do another ‘deluxe’ conversation.   Cranky does admit to munching a bit of the second roll --- who knew a turkey burger came like that --- and, why?

So, when she went to pay her bill, Cranky was all excited and in a good mood to tell the tourists who had arrived in the shop some places to go, where window displays were still on, etc., Cranky loves pushing the delights of her city as you might guess.  But, when she got to the counter to try to get a check, the stalwart deluxe-pushing waitress had over-charged her for her very plain old turkey burger and, then, added on $1.45 (!) for the extra roll Ms. Cranky had never ordered.  Is that a lot of money for a roll???

When Cranky asked the waitress about all this, the woman started screeching --- ‘you get a menu and check the charges, you cheat, you cheat’ and went on and on about Ms. Cranky ordering a second roll.  There went the tourists sitting there, Ms. Cranky hoped to chat with.  This was not the Xmas, New York City spirit Ms. Cranky loved.

Cranky, per the menu, changed the wrong charges on the bill to correct ones, crossed out the aforesaid horrid roll not asked for, multiplied everything by 9% tax as 8.75 was too hard for her rusty math brain to handle.  She left the money at the counter near the cash register with the corrected receipt and even left the screaming waitress a tip on the table, not as big as usual, but a tip.  

Then, Cranky sadly exited the diner without her usual pep talk to the eager tourists as she was too humiliated and found herself out on the street, still really hungry and not in too pleasant a mood.  This was not what she had planned but, then, whatever is?

So, stalwartly determined to ‘start again,’ Cranky walked up the side of the NY Public Library building towards the beautiful Bryant Park with it’s even more lovely tiny Christmas shops and great skating rink at this time of year, still upset from the dim no-pickle diner experience.

As Cranky was walking up a stairway holding on to the railing on the right side (the correct side to go up) a woman sent her son, actually pushed him to that particular side, ‘the wrong side’, where he hit Ms. C. but did not totally topple her.  The boy was about 10 or so but pretty large and the mother who had pushed him and seen it all, came laughing behind him as Ms. Cranky tried to pull herself out of harm’s way.  Ms. Cranky was not having a ‘great day in Manhattan’ so far.

Cranky rarely gets mad enough to speak up but this time, high on the tails of the turkey burger, extra roll, overcharge incident, she shouted back to the mother --- ‘Thanks for sending your son to push me down the stairs’ --- but the mother just kept laughing.  Cranky’s words fell on, well, not ‘deaf ears’ but huge thick purple ear-muffed ears.

But, just as Ms. Cranky might finally give in and feel a sorry for herself, just then, as she re-arranged herself at the top of the little stairway, came a family of four --- an older couple ahead, then, an teen-age boy and, next, probably, his mother.  

Ms. Cranky would have thought nothing of this group except for the fact that the younger woman, bringing up the rear, was crying and as Ms. Cranky stopped to notice, the woman began actually sobbing hard --- right there walking along, coming up from the beautiful park.  That stopped Ms. Cranky in her tracks, literally.  

No, she hadn’t found the cheap Irish bar hard as she tried, she had a barely decent sandwich in a diner and had been mis-charged, then verbally accosted for the mis-charge and certainly didn’t have ‘deluxe’ treatment, then, trying to approach the beloved park, had a large child hurled at her by his laughing mother who kept on laughing even as the boy fell into Ms. Cranky.

It hadn’t been a great outing but Ms. Cranky was not walking behind her family and crying, not even a little bit.  She quickly forgot her own minor woes and felt very sorry for this woman. 
Cranky approached the low white wall of the park which she so loved, where you could look out all across.  

She had finally arrived there and blessed herself as was her old way and stood silently praying for the poor sobbing woman, wishing she could stop whatever was hurting her, hoping the woman’s pain would go away real, real soon.

Ms. Cranky, sometime after Christmas, 2014Thanks for stopping by, love to hear any of your Christmas stories, sweet and bitter.  Please come again, writing more now.

Monday, August 25, 2014


A Ms. Cranky real, real short ---

Cranky thinks, without getting all new-agey and such, that omens are important in one’s life unless you get crazy and start seeing them in everything.  But, some omens Cranky feels are truly omens, like when she went to this health care provider --- in a fancy building, all gussied up, with fabulous doorbells and entry systems and buzzers galore but as soon as she walked in the door, she was greeted not only by a large plant right inside the door but she was greeted by a large and very dead plant.  Ms. Cranky, nervous about everything anyway and especially a new health care provider, thought –

"This does not bode well."  And later, she would wonder --- ‘why didn’t they just move the pathetic plant to the back, why would they have it greeting people at the entryway?  And, what are they trying to say???’

Omens can be silly, or a little too ominous, ha, ha, but in this instance, Ms. Cranky wished she had walked out of that particular place right then.  The plant said it all, though, in her obsessive care for growing things, she asked before leaving if she would be allowed to ‘work on the plant’ and they let her.

Water is always good for a dead plant, Cranky thinks, especially one with dead flopped-over leaves that should have been bright green but instead were brown or an even weirder burnt orange color? ,

Yeah, water works and, as a health provider, you’d think that might have occurred to the organization!?  And, then, Ms. Cranky asked to borrow a scissors and she cut off some of the dead leaves to give the tiny green part of the poor plant that was left a chance, and maybe not  horrify the next customer. 

Thanks, as always, for stopping by, Cranky would love to hear any similar stories.  Suffice it to say (to use a really trite phrase --- why not, it’s August?), Ms. Cranky did not continue her relationship with this place for long, she tried, actually, she tried valiantly but they answered their phones in the same manner they fed the plant --- like, by ignoring them.

It’s a wild and wonderful and nutty world and it helps to talk about it to one another.  Let me know your thoughts and stories.  Have a great end of summer.

And, remember to drink plenty of water and share it when you have a chance ---


Mrs. Cranky, August 22, 2014

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING (David Letterman’s new take on the phrase)

a Ms. Cranky short

Ms. Cranky likes David Letterman very much and his quirky, to her, most natural sense of humor.  Some of her friends disagree and Cranky herself really doesn’t like Dave’s Chris Christie weight jokes at all but otherwise she considers him a joy, a natural, un-contrived very original comedian. 

Take the other night; for instance, There has been a campaign in New York, hopefully everywhere, since 9/11 --- “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING” --- the phrase is used on speaker systems on public transit, it’s on signs all over the city; we, again, maybe everywhere, but certainly in the New York area have heard it repeated for 13 years now. --- ‘if you see something, say something.’ --- makes sense to Cranky.

So, the other evening on late-night national TV, Ms. Cranky’s favorite talk show host was taking on the new hearsay that there could be bed bugs --- not anymore in the hotels of New York City --- but they might now be on subways.  So, Dave went on and on about this the way he does --- straightforward, gap-toothed, Paul from the band making his wonderful noises of agreement. (Ms. Cranky will miss Paul as well, he is so part of it all.)

Then, Dave showed a video they had made announcing a new city-wide campaign and Ms. Cranky who was not in a good mood at all, just about fell on the floor laughing. 

They had this video filmed inside a subway car and the announcer said over and over --- ‘If you see something say something”; then, they showed average citizens, dressed in their golf shirts for summer, etc. riding the subway and brought up the subject of the new threat of bedbugs.

And, the motto quickly changed from ‘If you see something, say something’ to “If you see something, SWAT something” and all these people in the video were shown running around the subway car holding fly swatters and swatting intently at the walls and windows. 

Remember --- if you see something (like dangerous or strange, a package left unattended, for instance) say something
And, if you see a bedbug --- SWAT SOMETHING.

Have a good day, everyone, it helps to laugh, it really does, life is truly incongruous and Cranky will really miss this late-night talk show host and his quirky most honest work. 

Swat away David Letterman as long as you can.  Ms. Cranky is so very appreciative.  

posted August 25, 2014, show aired maybe Wed. or Thurs. eve of last week